India's Jehan Daruvala etched his name in the record books when he became the first Indian in history to win a Formula 2 race during the Sakhir Grand Prix held in Bahrain on Sunday. The 22-year-old Daruvala edged past the likes of Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda, and Dan Ticktum and won the sprint race by 2.9 seconds.
Driving for Rayo Racing, Jehan was on par with pole-sitter Daniel Ticktum after he made a good start. After Ticktum managed to push Jehan on the inside, Schumacher went around outside of both of them. Tiktum emerged in the lead, with Schumacher and Jehan going back and forth a couple of times.
However, Jehan Daruvala managed to get back to the second position and was right behind Ticktum, with only ten laps remaining. The Indian driver managed to keep his calm under pressure and grabbed the lead by opening a gap. He then finally took the black-and-white chequered flag to win his first-ever FIA Formula 2 race.
Goal is to make my country proud: Jehan Daruvala
This victory by Jehan Daruvala also saw the Indian national anthem being played on the F2 podium for the first time — a proud moment for Indian motorsport and the entire nation.
While speaking to the media after his monumental feat, Jehan Daruvala admitted that he had kept his faith right from the start. He also mentioned how he is looking forward to being back for the F2 Championship next year.
"I always believed in myself, it was just a couple of reasons why things did really go well at the start of the season. They got better and better, and yeah, to finish on a high like I said, means quite a lot to me. I hope I will be back here next year in the FIA F2 Championship. Hopefully, this win gives me some confidence to be a contender for the title next year."
Jehan Daruvala also spoke on how motorsport has gained followers over the years in India. The youngster took the opportunity to express his happiness in winning such a mega event with few facilities available back home.
"Motorsport is pretty big in India. We obviously have a lot of people, so I have a big fan base back home, and my goal at the end of the day is to do myself and my country proud. (I have) to prove to people from back home that even though we don't have the same facilities and stuff that guys have in Europe, as long as you can work hard, you can fight right at the sharp end of the grid," said Jehan Daruvala.
Earlier in 2019, Daruvala had competed in the inaugural Formula 3 race for the Prema Powerteam. He won the sprint race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that followed his victory in the feature race in France.